BUDDING chess grandmasters from Chepstow have been crowned the best in Wales after winning the national Secondary Schools Championships.

The team of four from Chepstow School upset the odds to beat hot favourites St John’s College, a private school in Cardiff which fielded two players who have competed for the adult women's team in the chess equivalent of the Olympics.

Chepstow’s team comprised two pairs of siblings – David and Rachel McIntosh and George and Madeleine Smith.

Not only did they take the title but the comprehensive school was the only one in Wales to enter two teams into the tournament, which took place on Saturday, November 24, at Cathedral School, Cardiff.

The B-team – Neil Stevenson, Sam Goodfellow, Harrison Postans and Steffan Griffiths – finished a highly creditable fourth.

Chepstow’s victory follows a second place for the school at the Welsh Secondary Schools Championships in 2016 and third last year.

The top two players for St John’s have played for Wales' ladies team at the Chess Olympiad, the biggest team tournament in world chess, and have reached the status in the sport as "women’s candidate masters".

In the crunch match between the two best teams at the weekend, Chepstow A beat St John’s by 2.5 points to 1.5 to clinch the title for the first time.

Whitchurch High School in Cardiff came third.